Advertising tips for small businesses
Get your small business online
Advertising is omnipresent and all-pervading. Anywhere you look at, you will see ads; on TV, online, radio, magazines, billboards, movies, newspapers, stadiums, everywhere and anywhere. Consumers are bombarded any minute with advertisements, sometimes good, sometimes really hectic, but the bottom line is that advertising can really make or break your business.
Especially, if you own a small business you need to advertise it heavily and participate in the challenging effort of convincing consumers that your business is better than those of competitors for a variety of reasons. The problem is what exactly you need to do to effectively promote your products or services and achieve both customer loyalty and profitable operations.
Here are some great advertising tips to help you in this process:
a) Link to other websites
In the era of technological advancement, your business should definitely have a website. A well-structured website will enable your visitors to navigate through your products and services quickly and easily. In due time, their customer experience will be unique and not only they will turn into your business advocates, but their interaction with your business will be smooth and pleasant.
Yet, having only a well-structured website it’s not enough. You need to link your website to other websites. Well-crafted, relevant links to great sites can impress both your customers and the search engines. Besides, linking will improve your customers’ experience and your own credibility. By adding carefully chosen links from your pages to complementary content on other high-quality websites you show to your customers and visitors that your content is valuable and this will make them return for more information.
Moreover, great links can also help influence your reputation with search engines. Like your customers, search engines are more likely to appreciate links to other great sites and this will increase traffic to your website and eventually profitability for your business.
b) Sign up for search engine optimization services (SEO)
If you consider search engines a major part of your marketing plan, you should hire a professional search engine optimization (SEO) service, to analyze your business and website and fine-tune your search engine strategy.
With a search engine optimization service, you actually pick relevant keywords that you think your visitors would enter when searching for products or services relevant to your business. Your visitors don’t see your keywords, but SEO use keywords to understand the relevance of your site to particular searches. Therefore, you need to choose specific keywords you expect potential customers would enter in a search engine to find you.
c) Do targeted advertising
Advertising on websites directly related to your business can be expensive, but with careful research, you may discover inexpensive and effective opportunities for targeted advertising. Subscribe to industry newsletters or to blogs that are related to your business.
Besides, you can look for industry-specific sites and smaller online publishers. You may not afford an ad on the New York Times website, but you may afford an ad in an editors’ newsletter or community website.
d) Subscribe to newsletters
Statistics report that it is six times more expensive to make a sale to a new customer than to an existing one. By subscribing to newsletters you can focus your marketing effort to existing customers who are already familiar with similar products or services of your business. In doing so, you will keep advertising costs down by using low-cost promotional policies. Besides, if you cannot afford printed newsletters, e-mail newsletters work equally perfect. All you need is visitors who will subscribe to your website.
e) Use bartering
Bartering is an effective tool to promote your products and services. For instance, you can trade a high-end product from your product line for advertising space or for another company’s product or service. Especially, if your budget is limited, bartering can prove especially helpful for advertising purposes.
f) Spread the word
Talk about your business to everybody. Spread the word and tell your friends to tell their friends. Use your friend to advertise your business. Word of mouth is the best advertising; it comes from trusted sources, and is also free. So, let your friends, family and anyone you are related to, know about your business and how they can find you online and encourage them to tell people they know who may also be interested in your products and services.
g) Post flyers in high-traffic locations.
Eye-catching, professional-looking flyers that include your business information can reach lots of potential customers. Flyers can be inexpensive to design and photocopy, but they are pretty effective in attracting customers.
Create professional, eye-catching flyers that include your website, email, and physical addresses and information about your business and post them in high-traffic locations like train and bus stations, town squares etc. Then check back from time to time for any that should be moved or replaced.
h) Seminars/open house
Hosting an open house in your business is a great opportunity to gain new customers as well as getting your business name known in the market. People love going to events and with the right programming, you will turn your visitors into new customers in no time. Your marketing efforts will be sooner compensated if you host a seminar or an open house in your facilities with media coverage and a nice turnout.
All above tips are great tools to help you advertise and promote your business. Keep in mind that, especially as a small business owner, you need to consider both online and offline advertising to reach the widest range of potential customers. This is an effective practice to take advantage of the various ways in which potential customers are likely to come across your business.